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Session Details

​​​​​​January 23, 2020​, 2:00 PM ET: Workload, Stress, and Patient Safety: How Human Factors Can Help

  • Frank Federico, RPh, Vice President, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)
  • James C. Won, PhD, Program Manager, Human Factors, Center for Healthcare Quality and Analytics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

The field of human factors has made important contributions to patient safety, helping health care teams create processes and designs according to how people physically and psychologically behave to avoid errors. With the growing complexity of health care — whether new technologies or moving from volume to value or addressing social determinants of health — there's growing concern that health care providers are bearing a lot of the brunt. Stressed out providers are not just a recipe for burnout, but also for making mistakes. What role can human factors play in addressing these issues? We will explore that question on the January 23 WIHI: Workload, Stress, and Patient Safety: How Human Factors Can Help. We hope you'll tune in! 

James Won will share how his human factors expertise is helping the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia lessen the "cognitive overload"​ that's become commonplace for health practitioners today. Larger trends notwithstanding, it's the constant daily interruptions, multitasking, and what many describe as endless administrative responsibilities detached from direct patient care that often have the most debilitating and immediate effects. What James and his team offer as remedy are processes that prevent demands and distractions from consuming all one's "mental spare capacity" — enabling a provider to focus on care delivery, and only on care delivery, when and where it matters most. 

IHI's longtime safety expert Frank Federico believes the relationship between workload and stress and the risk this poses for practitioners and patients alike need more attention. He has taught reliability and best safety practices to improvers all over the world, and he'll discuss how human factors principles offer the opportunity to create human-centered approaches. Just as health care staff learn to put physical distance between two lookalike or soundalike drugs to prevent a clinician from accidentally choosing the wrong one, we need equally robust ways to identify and reduce practitioner stress, so it never compromises patient care. Come learn with us on the January 23 WIHI.      

Please click here to create a calendar invite for the 2:00 PM ET broad​cast.​​